I'd love your (expert or non-expert) advice regarding my last few days

shan564

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    My exam is on May 17. I'm debating how to structure the last few days.

    Here's a quick summary of what I've done so far:
    Sometime in February - Scored 192 on UWSA1

    All of March to mid-April - Thoroughly went through First Aid and concurrently watched the relevant Pathoma lectures. Also went through UW (started around 54%) for most of March and Kaplan for most of April (started around 62%).
    Around March 31 - scored 230 on UWSA2
    Around April 7 - scored 221 on NBME 7
    April 16 - scored 228 on NBME 11. At this point, I was around 65% on Qbank questions.

    April 17 - started DIT. This took up almost all of my time, but I also squeezed in 25-50 daily UW/Kaplan questions. My average Qbank scores increased to about 75-80% by the end of the DIT course.
    Around the halfway point of the DIT course, I scored 247 on NBME 12. I'm pretty sure this was a fluke.

    Today - just finished DIT. I definitely feel much more prepared, but it's pretty clear to me that I'd benefit from one final review of everything. I'll take the DIT predictive exam tomorrow (May 6) and I'll post my results afterwards. I'll probably spend the rest of the day reviewing the questions/answers in the 500-page DIT study guide. The next day, I'll probably take a Kaplan 7-hour sim exam to identify my weak areas. That leaves me with 8 full study days if I want to take the last day off before the test.


    So... at this point, I'm considering three options:

    1. Spend the last few days going through FA and the DIT workbook with emphasis on my weakest areas based on the sim exam. I'd probably supplement FA with Pathoma where necessary.
    Pros - I'd know that I covered everything
    Cons - It's not particularly structured, so I might fall behind schedule or get distracted (which is definitely a tendency of mine)

    2. Use the Kaplan HY program to cover all of FA in eight days (50 hours at 1.5x speed = ~5 hours/day) with extra focus on my weak areas, and possibly supplement from Pathoma where necessary.
    Pros - I know that I can cover 5 hours a day of lectures (since I did it with DIT), so I won't fall behind schedule.
    It'll force me to look again at topics that I think I know well, just in case I don't actually know them as well as I think I do.
    Cons - I might spend too much time going through superficial review instead of focusing on things I don't know yet.

    3. Go through all of DIT again.
    Pros - I know that DIT helped me a LOT the first time, so maybe a second review will help solidify everything.
    Cons - Already done it once.


    Or some combination of those things.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks!
     

    AndyRSC

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      I'd suggest option one. There's nothing better than one more run-through FA if you can manage to squeeze it in. I doubt you'll have any trouble finding motivation or staying on task this close to the exam. Options two and three and not a good use of your time precisely because of the cons you've listed.

      Also plan ahead and in the last few days leave room for:
      1. Rapid Review + HY Images sections of FA
      2. Mapping out what will go on your laminated board in the room, as I recall you understood the utility of this in the White Board thread. I think on mine I wrote down renal equations, set up a probability table, wrote out coag pathways, and a few pharm equations. Just about all of that was put to use, most more than once.
      3. A skim through any notes of yours that you consider high-yield, unless you've been annotating everything worthwhile into FA.
      4. A final skim of items impervious to your memorization, which you are certainly aware of by now. If you can't recall on demand certain sections/tables in FA that are HY, this would be the time to commit them to memory (at least the short-term, if nothing's been able to anchor them to long-term thus far).
       

      mdeast

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        I'm personally planning on memorizing stuff my last week. The worst thing that could happen in my opinion, is to get a question about a drug mechanism, bug, etc. and not know the answer because I didn't memorize something silly.

        I feel like a lot of the path/pathophys/phys questions more come from your overall understanding of disease/etc.

        I'd just go through your FA notes, do 2-3 random 46 blocks in UWorld or QBank each day, make sure you're retaining what you know well, and jamming in your weak points so at least you'll be able to make educated guesses on those harder questions when they arise.

        I'm May 23rd so in a similar boat to you. Just about finishing my Third Pass of FA with Kaplan HY. Gonna see if I can go through it again (concentrating more on weak areas, maintaining strong areas) maybe 2x more times in the next 2.5 weeks.

        Also at this point...I'd reconsider taking too many more practice exams. Unless you have the option to delay, it might not be the best idea at this point to freak yourself out about what you're going to get.
         
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        RedSoxSuck

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        3. Attending Physician
          My exam is on May 17. I'm debating how to structure the last few days.

          Here's a quick summary of what I've done so far:
          Sometime in February - Scored 192 on UWSA1

          All of March to mid-April - Thoroughly went through First Aid and concurrently watched the relevant Pathoma lectures. Also went through UW (started around 54%) for most of March and Kaplan for most of April (started around 62%).
          Around March 31 - scored 230 on UWSA2
          Around April 7 - scored 221 on NBME 7
          April 16 - scored 228 on NBME 11. At this point, I was around 65% on Qbank questions.

          April 17 - started DIT. This took up almost all of my time, but I also squeezed in 25-50 daily UW/Kaplan questions. My average Qbank scores increased to about 75-80% by the end of the DIT course.
          Around the halfway point of the DIT course, I scored 247 on NBME 12. I'm pretty sure this was a fluke.

          Today - just finished DIT. I definitely feel much more prepared, but it's pretty clear to me that I'd benefit from one final review of everything. I'll take the DIT predictive exam tomorrow (May 6) and I'll post my results afterwards. I'll probably spend the rest of the day reviewing the questions/answers in the 500-page DIT study guide. The next day, I'll probably take a Kaplan 7-hour sim exam to identify my weak areas. That leaves me with 8 full study days if I want to take the last day off before the test.


          So... at this point, I'm considering three options:

          1. Spend the last few days going through FA and the DIT workbook with emphasis on my weakest areas based on the sim exam. I'd probably supplement FA with Pathoma where necessary.
          Pros - I'd know that I covered everything
          Cons - It's not particularly structured, so I might fall behind schedule or get distracted (which is definitely a tendency of mine)

          2. Use the Kaplan HY program to cover all of FA in eight days (50 hours at 1.5x speed = ~5 hours/day) with extra focus on my weak areas, and possibly supplement from Pathoma where necessary.
          Pros - I know that I can cover 5 hours a day of lectures (since I did it with DIT), so I won't fall behind schedule.
          It'll force me to look again at topics that I think I know well, just in case I don't actually know them as well as I think I do.
          Cons - I might spend too much time going through superficial review instead of focusing on things I don't know yet.

          3. Go through all of DIT again.
          Pros - I know that DIT helped me a LOT the first time, so maybe a second review will help solidify everything.
          Cons - Already done it once.


          Or some combination of those things.

          Any thoughts?

          Thanks!

          Well from what i have read here over the months etc is that last few days should be spent doing as much review as possible. Great idea will be to go through first aid as many times as you can so you would have seen everything in few days prior to the big day. I think its the same suggestion DIT guy had. So i think i would stick to option one.

          What did you mean by DIT study guide? Is it the same thing as the "booklet" which contained all the daily exercises, quizes and the "review" quiz?

          I think doing FA with those DIT quizes would be a way to go even though i am tempted by kaplan HY. But i am not sure if kaplan HY will be a good idea at this point because i personally would not be comfortable using material for the first time in last few days. Even though HY will provide you with the same material but it will lack familiarity which you probably have acquired from fa already.

          At this point, i would rather use Pathoma along with DIT notes and FA. Also i would start reviewing my weakest area first and then the next weakest area. This can even leave you with a day or so to look over your weak area once again.

          Hope this helps and goodluck. Hopefully you will still be around in early june when its my time and such.
           

          johndoe3344

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            I'm May 22 :/ Getting increasingly nervous as time goes on...

            But yeah, I have the last 10 or so days saved for review of FA + corresponding pathoma section(s) + 1-2 UW blocks (depending on how much time I have aka how much of that day's material I forgot).

            Since I did DIT as well, I would consider just going through just their quizzes only, since those seem to be pretty HY stuff. Unlike you, I used DIT at the beginning of my studying to annotate FA, so I think I'll probably be able to get more out of re-doing the quizzes after I've learned all the material.
             

            CrimsonMirage

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              I plan to review the 'rapid review' section of First Aid, along with some high yield FA pages I forget (genetic translocations, nutrient deficiencies, important drugs & bugs). If you've taken any other notes during your study period, now would be a great time to use them as cram sheets.

              Thanks for answering my questions on other threads, and best of luck! :thumbup: We're rooting for you!
               

              shan564

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                Hey guys, thanks for all of the feedback. I think everybody made some good points and I'll definitely integrate some of those opinions into my study plan. As people are suggesting, I think I'll mostly make a final pass through FA with supplements from other sources only where necessary.

                The DIT predictive test went interestingly... my overall score was about what I expected, but my breakdown was a bit surprising. I thought that autonomic pharmacology was a strength of mine (I scored 66% on 6 questions) and that biochem was a weakness of mine (I scored 100% on 11 questions). So based on that, it looks like I don't have any blaring weaknesses... meaning that I should probably try to cover everything equally.

                Untitled-2.png


                Does anybody know what 83% means in terms of a 3-digit score? I saw an old thread with a chart suggesting that it's about 246 (+/- 6), but that chart was from 2009.
                 
                Hey, I would just recommend not reading too much into a single practice test in terms of evaluating where you are. The sample size is just too small. One thing I'll just throw out there if you have time is Goljan's HY (it is just 36 pgs of facts). I read it the day before my test in like 3 hours or so. While I was doing it, I thought I was wasting my time, but I think it got me 7-10 questions on the actual test. Just a thought to consider
                 

                DroptheBop

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                  2. Mapping out what will go on your laminated board in the room, as I recall you understood the utility of this in the White Board thread. I think on mine I wrote down renal equations, set up a probability table, wrote out coag pathways, and a few pharm equations. Just about all of that was put to use, most more than once.

                  Where is this white board thread? Any body else have any other good ideas about what to write on the white board?

                  Hey, I would just recommend not reading too much into a single practice test in terms of evaluating where you are. The sample size is just too small. One thing I'll just throw out there if you have time is Goljan's HY (it is just 36 pgs of facts). I read it the day before my test in like 3 hours or so. While I was doing it, I thought I was wasting my time, but I think it got me 7-10 questions on the actual test. Just a thought to consider

                  The Goljan HY 36 looks kind of disorganized compared to the HY 46. Anybody have any recommendation on these two documents?

                  Thanks!
                   

                  NightSwim

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                    Awesome improvement to your score on NBME 12! You're going to get an incredible score on the actual test. I quickly re-read all of FA in the last 3 days. I wanted FA to be fresh in my mind. I'm glad I did that. I specifically remember a few questions on very minor things that I picked up in the last couple days. On the other hand, I've heard lots of classmates say the opposite, that they learned nothing in the final days. Different perspectives. I suggest studying hard to the end, except for the day or night before.
                     
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